Have you ever encountered Australian Rules Football? It's a fast paced, skillful, tough game played by some of the fittest professional athletes in the world where the rules don't seem to make any sense. It combines aspects of soccer, football, basketball... but no, it's not rugby. Affectionately known as Aussie Rules or Footy, the unique sport originated in Australia in 1858. Like the NFL is to America, Aussie Rules is the number one professional sport to be played in Australia under the Australian Football League (AFL). Despite only being played professionally in Australia, Aussie Rules is the 4th most popular sport in the world by average weekly attendance. The sport has seen large worldwide growth in recent years, particularly in America where the United States Australian Football League (USAFL) is alive and well with over 1,100 registered players and 32 clubs. The Minnesota Freeze has emerged as one of the most robust footy cultures in the United States.
Being an Australian, passionate footy fan and member of the Freeze, I was approached by the Minnesota Freeze to concept and create a promotional spot for the team to generate excitement for the sport in Minnesota with particular focus on Americans. As a filmmaker, I have always desired to create something around the sport, and the angle of pitching footy to Americans made it all the more appealing. Because the majority of Americans have no idea what Aussie Rules is, the goal was to keep it simple and mainly excite and attract Minnesotans to the sport. The direction was crafted to follow a familiar production quality and style of advertisements similarly used for many American sports. The cinematic visuals, slow to fast frame rates, punchy color grading and importantly, the fast cutting with aggressive music and sound design leave you with that punch in the face effect. The feeling of Australian Rules Football is very much the same and so it was important to demonstrate the essence of how the sport is played throughout. Regardless, if you don't understand the rules, the spot is geared to intrigue and get athletes asking more about a sport which is clearly in a league of its own. To better understand the sport check out the video below, which the AFL released and is the best explanation of the sport I've seen. To read more about the project read the full article here and if you want to try a different sport, check out the Minnesota Freeze and try Aussie Rules!
Special thanks to the Freeze and the crew involved on this project, check out the full list below.
Director & Editor: Nathaniel Schmidt
Director of Photography: Alex Horner
Second Camera: Jules Ameel
Sound Engineer: Nick Mihalevich, Cape Status
Sound Design: Chase Brandau, Cape Status
Colorist: Oscar Oboza, Nice Shoes
Music Composition: Joey Verskotzi